What is ‘listeria?’

We all familiar with salmonella poisoning but less so with ‘listeria’; yet this is as equally as dangerous. Listeria is particularly harmful to pregnant women, the elderly and anyone with a ‘compromised’ immune system.

Listeria is caused by bacteria present in chilled foods such as soft cheeses, cooked meats (e.g. ham), smoked salmon, pates and
ready prepared sandwiches.

Symptoms of listeria include:

  • fever
  • muscle pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • blood poisoning
  • severe headaches
  • stiff neck
  • memory confusion
  • clumsiness/lack of co-ordination

Pregnant women are at risk of a stillbirth or a spontaneous abortion.

The best way of preventing this is to ensure that your fridge is set at 0 C and 5 C. When taking chilled foods out of the fridge, make sure that they are only kept out for a minimum period of time before returning them to the fridge.

And make sure that you use chilled food before it’s ‘use by date’.

Food Hygiene Guide Index:

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